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EDMA503 Mathematics Curriculum

Unit rationale, description and aim

The aim of this unit is to introduce primary school mathematics education by discussing and investigating current directions in mathematics education, including social justice issues, drawing on contemporary research, national and state curriculum documents and initiatives. Pre-service teachers will explore theories of learning mathematics and effective teaching and learning strategies that enhance students' understandings of mathematical concepts and skills. Emphasis will be placed on ways to enhance the pre-service teacher's content knowledge in the areas of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and their understanding of how students' knowledge in these areas develops. Opportunities to advance problem solving, reasoning, analytical thought and fluency will permeate the unit. Pre-service teachers will explore ways to foster creativity, confidence and positive attitudes in mathematics. Additionally, the unit includes a master class for pre-service teachers undertaking a specialisation in Mathematics and numeracy for primary teaching that provides opportunities for further applications of content and pedagogical knowledge. Pre-service teachers will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to planning, teaching and assessing primary Mathematics with a focus on Number and Algebra, and Measurement and Geometry.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Formulate an informed concept of current directions in mathematics and numeracy education including culturally responsive and socially critical perspectives by drawing on relevant research, the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and other state and national curriculum documents (GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.5)  

LO2 - Apply theories and research about primary aged students’ development of mathematical concepts and proficiencies to create powerful learning experiences, including the use of ICT, for students in Whole Number, Measurement and Geometry as required by Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and other relevant curriculum documents (GA5, GA6; APST 1.1,1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3) 

LO3 - Demonstrate an ability to critically reflect on the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and the effectiveness of different theories and approaches to teaching mathematics that cater for students across a full range of abilities, particularly the formative, summative and diagnostic uses of assessment data, and apply these approaches to support students’ diverse learning needs(GA5; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4) 

LO4 - Use language, symbols, resources including ICT as tools to design learning sequences and organise lesson activities to support students’ mathematical learning of Whole Number, Measurement and Geometry, as outlined in relevant documents (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.


Topics will include: 

  • Contexts of curriculum 
  • state and national curriculum documents, social and cultural perspectives in mathematics 
  • Students and mathematical understanding 
  • theories of students’ mathematical learning; and how they develop mathematical understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills. 
  • student misconceptions 
  • Mathematical pedagogy 
  • strategies to enhance all students’ learning through the use of manipulatives, mathematical language and digital technologies in representing mathematical ideas  
  • designing lesson sequences and mathematical learning activities for students of varying abilities 
  • management and organisation of mathematical learning activities 
  • strategies to promote self-esteem and positive attitudes to mathematics with due consideration of learners from non-English speaking backgrounds 
  • purposes and approaches to formative and summative assessment. 
  • Mathematical content 
  • content of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry 
  • instrumental and relational understanding in the strands of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry. 

Master Class for primary specialisation in Mathematics and numeracy  

  • Theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the role and function of Mathematics and numeracy in the 21st century and their place in the primary curriculum  
  • Deep understanding and analysis of the proficiency strands of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics; understanding, fluency, problem-solving and reasoning 
  • Pedagogical strategies for extending student learning through authentic experiences across the proficiency strands  
  • Application of the proficiency strands to the development of learning sequences in Number and Algebra, and Measurement and Geometry 
  • Application of digital technologies to teaching and learning in Mathematics and numeracy  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum which is offered in on-campus mode. A range of teaching and learning strategies are employed to reflect contemporary mathematics and numeracy learning pedagogies as can be applied in primary contexts. These include: interactive learning experiences; student-led discussions and group work; directed hands-on learning activities; real-world problem-solving; and the integration of ICT as a pedagogical tool for accessing, sharing and learning in mathematics. These experiences are facilitated through lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed reading/activity guides and study resources. The on-campus learning experiences are supported by online learning strategies, including: synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in reading/library tasks, learning activities, and discussion forums as mediated through the LEO (Learning Environment Online) unit site. 

EDMA504 also includes a master class that is offered as an online module. It provides additional online learning experiences, including interactive lectures and workshops, self-directed reading/activity guides, and synchronous and/or asynchronous learning forums and activities. Where student numbers allow, the master class may be supplemented by face-to-face workshops.  

Technology Enhanced Learning  

The online teaching and learning in this unit will be offered via a LEO unit site. This will include resources and materials to support on-campus learning in a blended mode. The online master class will be available through the same LEO site.  


Lectures or lecture summaries will be recorded to support student learning. Some tutorial activities may be recorded as appropriate to facilitate review of pedagogical strategies. Students will be notified when an activity is being recorded prior to the commencement of the activity. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. The assessment in curriculum and pedagogy units focuses on applying content knowledge and skills to the design and implementation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. In EDMA504, the assessment focusses on pedagogies for developing mathematics and numeracy in Number and Algebra, and Measurement and Geometry. The three tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in using and developing pedagogies for Mathematics and numeracy (Task 1), understanding a wide range of pedagogies (Task 2), and applying these to identifying and planning for specific learning needs (Task 3).  


For pre-service teachers completing the master class, Task 1 will be replaced by the Master Class Task. They will develop knowledge about pedagogies through the weekly learning activities and then build on this in relation to pedagogical applications to authentic 21st century mathematical thinking and learning.  

A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. ( 

Minimum Achievement Standards 

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.  

In order to pass this unit, you are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks relevant to your pathway through the unit. For pre-service teachers completing the Mathematics and numeracy specialisation this is Tasks 2, 3 and the Master Class Task. For all other pre-service teachers the required assessments are Tasks 1, 2 and 3.  

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return 

All relevant assessment items will be submitted electronically via the unit LEO site. The timing, date and location of presentations (Task 1) and the examination (Task 2) will be arranged by the end of the first week of the study period.  

Marking, feedback and the return of assessment will be undertaken electronically. Dates for submission and return of assessment will be available on the unit LEO site from the first week of the study period. Students should take account of file type and size requirements when preparing submissions. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1* 

Folio; evidence of weekly engagement and reflection on learning activities, readings and application in professional placement 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA8 

Assessment Task 2  

Examination; extended response and short answer questions demonstrating understandings of pedagogies, theories, and issues  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Assessment Task 3 

Case Study; investigate and report on two students’ mathematics learning and develop two differentiated lessons covering topics from Number and Algebra and Measurement and Geometry  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Master Class Task 

(for specialisation students only) 

Essay with annotated folio; exploring the context of 21st century capabilities and their implications for authentic teaching, learning and assessment in Mathematics and numeracy using evidence of engagement and reflection on learning activities, readings and application in professional placement 



GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Mathematics and numeracy specialisation students exempt. 

Representative texts and references

Booker, G. (2011). Building numeracy: Moving from diagnosis to intervention. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford Press.

Booker, G., Bond, D., Sparrow, L., & Swan, P. (2015). Teaching primary mathematics (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Clements, D., & Bright, G. (Eds.). (2003). Teaching and learning measurement: 2003 Yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Reston, Va: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Crowley, M. (1987). The Van Hiele model of the development of geometric thought. In M. M. Lindquist & A. P. Shulte (Eds.). Learning and teaching geometry K-12 (Yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, pp. 1-16). Reston, Va: NCTM.

Siemon, D., Beswick, K., Brady, K., Clark, J., Faragher, R., & Warren, E. (2011). Teaching mathematics: Foundations to middle years. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K. S., & Bay-Williams, J. M. (2012). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Westwood, P. (2008). What teachers need to know about numeracy. Camberwell, Vic: ACER Press.

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